“We started to return to normality. We want to keep this normal, ”Draghi said at a press conference after Cabinet unanimously approved the measures.
Italy, where the epidemic in Europe began in February 2020, is seeing an increase in infections but to a more measured degree than other EU countries, recording around 10,000 new cases and less than 100 deaths per day.
It has fully vaccinated over 84% of its population over the age of 12, but appointments for the first dose have stabilized and 20 small towns in northern Italy where vaccination rates are among the lowest in the country. countries entered semi-lockdown on Wednesday due to infections there. went up quickly.
The aim of the new measures is to prevent such blanket closures – a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and the closing of bars and restaurants at 6 p.m. – from recurring at all levels. The new decree would allow restaurants and other places to stay open even when cases increase and hospitals fill up, but only to those who have proof of vaccination or who have recovered from COVID-19.
Unlike other countries, Italy has never relaxed many of its restrictions even when cases have been filled with vaccine: mandates for indoor masks remain in place and Italy became last month the first western country to require a health pass to enter the workplace.
The so-called “Green Pass” contained proof of vaccination, of being cured of COVID-19 or a negative test. With the new decree, the government is introducing a “reinforced” Green Pass which excludes the possibility of testing certain activities indoors.